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Story starters from lands faraway

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Story starters of legends, stories, folk tales and fairy tales contributed by people from across the world

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Story starters from lands faraway

  1. 1. Storystarters A twitter thread that unravelled.
  2. 2. An Intro Storystarters are cultural and evoke our imaginations. What started as a simple tweet has turned into a beautiful thread of stories. Read below the various responses (with credits) from all parts of the world. Read the disclaimer before you start…
  3. 3. Caution! I decided to collate all the threads into a resource for teachers and storytellers. This is not directly for children, as none of these texts have been validated or the scripts translated. We only have the tweeters confirming origins. There is no claim of verified authenticity. It is arranged by continents / regions. But the languages do travel and hence will be spoken in other places. Do not get in touch to make corrections! This is simply a joy of storytelling that got translated into a resource. There is no joy in criticism of the fun we had.
  4. 4. Asia
  5. 5. Tamil - India Like “ once upon a time “ in English, in Tamil we used to start stories with “in that only place...” ஒரே ஒரு ஊரிரே Chitra Soundar @csoundar
  6. 6. Rajasthan, India In Kawaada story form it goes – “And that’s how the story unfolds. Farmer Falgu @farmerfalgu
  7. 7. Telugu, India anagaa anagaa in Telugu translates to 'having been said and said and said', the reduplication indicates repetitive action. in fast speech the last vowel of the first word is shortened and it become 'anaganagaa’ Murlal @lmhesyk
  8. 8. Hindi, India Ek Din… One day… A. M. Dassu @a_reflective
  9. 9. Kannada, India In Kannada it is ಒಂದಾನ ಂದು ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ (ondaanondu kaaladalli), a long long time ago/once upon a time. Ranjitha @ranjithaeurkar
  10. 10. Gujrati, India In Gujarati it is often 'Ek huto...' 'Once there was ...’ Divya Ghelani @DivyaGhelani
  11. 11. Bengali In Bengali it is 'Shey onek din ager kotha ...' which means 'once upon a time a long while ago... Muneera Mun @mun_artist
  12. 12. Philippines In the Philippines it is "Noong unang panahon" ... I had never thought of it but roughly translated it means "In the first of times" ... Candy Gourlay @candygourlay
  13. 13. Japanese The Japanese equivalent is 'mukashi mukasi' - which takes to 'in the past' or, when repeated takes on a 'long long time ago' Japanese: 昔むかーし、ある所に。。。 Long, long ago, in a certain place... Avery Udagawa @averyudagawa Mio Debnam @dogini So ein Durst @EasternSmooth
  14. 14. Sinhala, Sri Lanka in Sinhala. එකමත් එක රටක, meaning 'In this one particular place (country)...’ Nizrana F @NizRite
  15. 15. Thai In Thai people certainly use กาลครั้งหนึ่ง (kan khrang nueng) which translates as 'in one period of time' (i.e. once upon a time), Galla klung nung nan ma lawe (from translations of western stories) Elli Woollard @Elli_fant Helen Moss @hmadventure
  16. 16. Korean “Long ago, when all the tigers smoked long pipes...” We need to validate this with Korean language speakers. Mairirua @bastinmairi
  17. 17. Mongol I have forgotten most of my Mongol, but one thing I do remember is that Mongolian stories should begin with Эрт урьдын цагт "long ago...". Medieval Indonesia @siwaratrikalpa
  18. 18. Mandarin Chinese In Mandarin Chinese it’s either “long ago” ( 从前 in Chinese) or a specific time like “once in Qin dynasty”. in Mandarin it’s “从前从前” which translates to something like “long, long ago” ColdBrew @cold_home_brew Ruo Ling Lu @ruolinglu
  19. 19. Indonesia In Indonesia, "pada zaman dahulu kala", in an era a long time ago... Eve Shi @Eve_Shi
  20. 20. Bahasa Melayu in Bahasa Melayu we use "pada suatu hari" ("one day"), or for stories with ancient/medieval settings, we use "pada zaman dahulu" ("in a past era"). Afiq Asri @heyafiqasri
  21. 21. Africa
  22. 22. Swahili In swahili we start with "hapo zamani za kale" which translates to "long time ago" Kenneth @kenntrics
  23. 23. Ashanti Tradition Stories about Anansi in the Ashanti storytelling tradition always open, "We do not say, we do not say that what we are about to say is true. Let it go, let it go." David Thomas Moore @dtmooreeditor
  24. 24. Yoruba It's in a form of Call & Response in #Yoruba. Storyteller speaks, listeners (typically children) respond: Ní ọjọ́ kan [Ọjọ́ kan kìí tán l'áiyé] Ní ìgbà kan (*Once upon a time) [Ìgbà kan nlọ, ìgbà kan nbọ; aiyé duro títí láé] The story proceeds from there on Molara Wood @molarawood
  25. 25. Kabyle In Kabyle, it looks like “Yella yiwen zich”, meaning “there was a time long ago, there was a man...” #storystarters Calvus Virginicus @virginicus
  26. 26. Zulu In one of the official South African languages IsiZulu, we have kwasuka sukela, which would roughly translate right in the beginning, so basically once upon a time Chiharu-J @loli_Studio
  27. 27. Europe
  28. 28. Portuguese “Era uma vez” - There was a time ... Hannah J W @hannahteach
  29. 29. Greek In Greek: "Μία φορά κι έναν καιρό" literally means "once and at a time" very similar to the English one. Similarly it's rarely used outside of fairytales. I believe in Greek it's "mia fora ki enan kairo" which means something like "one time and one place" but is also sometimes translated as "once upon a time". Loba @forevernope4 J @JLGLawStudent
  30. 30. Dutch There was, once… Dutch: "Er was eens" - Once there was... Or "Heel lang geleden, in een land ver hier vandaan" - A very long time ago, in a land far from here... Niki Haringsma @nikisketches Suna Dasi @Suna_Dasi
  31. 31. Bulgarian Bulgarian stories usually start with "имало едно време" (imalo edno vreme) which literally translates to "there once was..." and basically means "once upon a time, there was... ” Dykestra’s Algorithm @orgouineateur
  32. 32. French & Italian In French it’s « il était une fois »and in Italian « c’era una volta » which I‘ve always thought of as ‘there once was a time...’ but it’s the same as ‘once upon a time’ really. Cate Hamilton @lomo_linguist 'Il y était une fois' in French. There was a time, or Once upon a time. Space_bat_angel_dragon @breakfast_lady Tina Reynolds @tinamreynolds
  33. 33. Basque There are a few forms in Basque. Here are 2. "Munduan anitz diren bezala bazen..." "As there are many others in the world, there was...". And my favourite "Landareak eta animaliak mintzo ziren garaian, baziren.." "At the time when plants and animals could speak, there was...” Iurgi @iurgiurrutia
  34. 34. Danish In Danish it’s: “Der var engang...” which directly translated is: “There was once...” but is often just translated as “Once upon a time.” Danish: at one time... Det var en gang... H S Norup @HSNorup Sidsel Pedersen @macthekat82
  35. 35. Maltese, Malta Maltese folktales often started with ‘This might have happened and it might have not...’ Saviour Pirotta @spirotta
  36. 36. Finnish In Finnish, a fairytale starts with: “Olipa kerran...” (There was, once...) Annlina Jokinen @AustinAni
  37. 37. Iceland Medieval Icelandic sagas tend to start "Maðr hét...", "[There was] a man called...” Luke Nokkur @Luke_J_Murphy
  38. 38. German The German ones can vary but they also often start with "Es war einmal" (once there was...). German is similar, "Es war einmal ..." Julie Sullivan @Webwight Rodger Kibble @rodgerkibble
  39. 39. Swedish Swedish uses "det var en gång" - which translates to something like "it once was" or "there once was". Ex: "there once was [a person]" Sometimes it's expanded to "det var en gång för länge sedan" - which means "it/there once was, a long time ago", or "once, a long time ago". In swedish: "Det var en gång..." = "Once, there was..." The longer version is "Det var en gång, för länge sedan, ..." = "There was once, long ago, ..." "En gång" also means "a time" or "an event". The phrase has a rhythmic feel in Swedish. We can also simply say "En gång, (för länge sedan)..." = "Once, (long ago)..." Anna Landin @AnnaLandin Sonja Bergstrom @sonjaarts
  40. 40. Hungarian "Hol volt, hol nem volt, volt egyszer egy ..." – Hungarian, the rough translation would be something like "Now there was, now there wasn't, there was once a ...", and looking at the other comments it now feels really similar to the Farsi ‫یکی‬‫بود‬‫یکی‬‫نبود‬ Ralesk @ralesk82
  41. 41. Russian In Russian: «Жили-были...», means “Lived- existed <lead characters>...” t. @T21V2R1
  42. 42. Norwegian «Once upon a time» translated to Norwegian is «Det var en gang» Camilla Reberg @crfotografi
  43. 43. Serbian In this sense (and this sense only), Serbian storytelling is not much different from English, the usual opener 'Beše (or Bijaše) jednom...' can be translated as either 'There was once' or 'Once upon a time’ Serbian Fairy Tales @SerbianFairy
  44. 44. Welsh, Wales In Welsh we have "Unwaith" (once/one time/once upon a time) or we can use "unwaith, unwaith" which lends more of a fairytale air, or the simple "amser maith yn ôl" (a long time ago) Norman Charles @Cyntefin Ffi @supritiffion
  45. 45. Irish In Irish we said Fadó, fadó...long, long ago In Irish, words are sometimes emphasised through repetition, so the usual Irish equivalent is "Fadó fadó" (literally 'long ago long ago'). Mary Roche, @marygtroche Jack Fennell @jfennellAuthor
  46. 46. Czech In Czech, we usually start a fairytale with the following: ‘Bylo nebylo. Za devatero horami a devatero řekami… Byl jednou jeden král...’ which quite literally means ‘There was something and there wasn’t. Beyond nine mountains and nine rivers...there lived a king...’ Katie Cox @coxy_katie
  47. 47. Spanish In Spanish 'érase una vez' o 'había una vez', similar to 'there once was’ In Spanish we say Erasé una vez which is basically your “once upon a time” In spanish it's "Érase una vez" which literally means "There was a time...". Gabrielle Munoz @_gabmunoz Gonzo @MuscleYoda Onani. @shiroiAnoKumo
  48. 48. Polish 'Dawno, dawno temu' in Polish, meaning 'Long, long ago'. In Polish it's "Beyond seven mountains, beyond seven forests" or "A long time ago, beyond seven mountains...” In Polish, fairy-tales often start with the phrase “za górami, za lasami” (literally: beyond mountains, beyond forests) which is the equivalent of “in a land far away”. Joanna Hardej @HardejJoanna Anna Szydlik @CmaKsiazkowa Anna Maria Tuckett @A_CherryWriter
  49. 49. Catalan There are many, but now a days, "Fa molts i molts anys..." or "Hi havia una vegada..." are the most normal and common in Catalan. The first would be "Many and many years ago" and the second "There was once...” "Vet aquí que en aquell temps que les bèsties parlaven i les persones callaven...", That'd be like "See it here that in that time in which beasts spoke and people were silent...” "Vet aquí que en aquell temps que els ocells tenien dents...", that translates as "See it here, that on that time in which birds had teeth... "Fa molts i molts anys, en un país molt llunyà...", That'd be "Many and many years ago, in a far away country...” "Un conte us explicaré, tan bé com jo sabré; si l'escolteu el sentireu, qui no el sentirà no el sabrà...", "A tale I tell you, as well as I will know; if you listen to it you'll hear it, they who won't hear it won't know it...” vet aqui que una vegada @minara93 @nunubelle76
  50. 50. Roman Even the Ancient Roman story-starter 'olim' sounds like it is full of mystery! Joanna Hardej @hardejJoanna
  51. 51. English - Lancashire Lancashire folk often start a topic with 'I say, I say' which comes from getting attention over mill noise. Kev Mcveigh @kevmcveigh
  52. 52. Middle-East
  53. 53. Hebrew / Bible Stories “And it was after these things” which is used in bible stories... Gonzo @MuscleYoda
  54. 54. Farsi In Farsi we say "yeki bood, yeki nabood", meaning "one was, one wasn't!" ‫یکی‬‫بود‬‫یکی‬ ‫نبود‬ Delaram Ghanimifard @dellygh Homa jenabzadeh @Homajenabzadeh
  55. 55. Turkish In Turkish it is 'Bir varmış bir yokmuş...' means there once was, there once wasn’t...) Muneera Mun @mun_artist
  56. 56. Caribbean
  57. 57. Creole In the Caribbean (or my little part of it, at least), #storystarters tend to have audience participation. So the narrator will say in Creole "E dit kwik?" (I say creek) and the audience replies "kwak" (crack!). Pardina @peggiesus
  58. 58. Popular Culture
  59. 59. Star Wars fans said… A long time ago, in a galaxy, far far away… Dawn Finch @dawnafinch
  60. 60. Kansas, USA In Kansas it's "There used to be this feller who lived down the road a ways" and ends with "but he got paroled and farms sorghum now". The Last Raven @deathandraven
  61. 61. English popular culture
  62. 62. Storyteller’s Start “When the stars were young” Dom Conlon @dom_conlon
  63. 63. Unknown Origins
  64. 64. Unknown Origins ‘Long, long ago, beyond seven mountains, beyond seven forests...’ Agatha Zielinska @AlZielinska
  65. 65. Uknown Origin my mum used to start her stories "in a time so long ago only the trees remember” Technoglyf @technoglyf
  66. 66. American? English? Popular culture! Hold my beer… Brian Voss @remloveremlife
  67. 67. Unknown Origin Many moons ago… Jamel.Carly @jamelcarly
  68. 68. Unknown Origin Long before there was me and you… Ashraf Taraky @taraky_a

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